Authors: Timothy W. Long
Tags: #Zombie Apocalypse
PRAISE FOR THE WORKS OF
TIMOTHY W. LONG
“If this is how the world ends, sign me up!”--Jonathan Maberry,
New York Times Best Selling author of Patient Zero
“One of the best zombie novels of the year.”
-- Paul “Goat” Allen, Barnes and Noble
“Long, a prolific horror author writes with graphic glee - repulsive details and way off-color jokes abound.”
-- Tacoma News Tribune
Find Tim online:
Also by Timothy W. Long
Beyond the Barriers
Among the Living
Among the Dead
” By Timothy W. Long
. Timothy W. Long
All Rights Reserved
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored, or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any
form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the copyright owner,
except in the case of brief quotations embodied within critical articles and
This book is a work of fiction. People, places, events, and situations are the product of the
s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living, dead or undead, or
historical events, is purely fucking coincidental.
Timothy W. Long
In the event this log is found with my corpse, I’m Machinist Mate First Class Jackson Creed and it’s been a week since we arrived back in San Diego following the event. With me is Marine Sergeant Joel “Cruze” Kelly.
We were both stationed on the USS McClusky, an Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate out of San Diego. Our ship was overrun by the dead and we barely escaped with our lives. Now we live in the middle of Undead Central.
08:35 AM Approximate
Location: Somewhere outside of San Diego – Undead-Central
We came upon the worst wreck yet about an hour after sunrise. Before that it was stop and go – mainly stop – as we hit accident after accident. No one bothered to stick around and guard his or her car.
Since hauling ass out of San Diego and taking a full day to make twenty miles, we’d pretty much had it with the road, the cramped military vehicle, and each other.
The driver hit the roadside curb so hard we bounced and came down cursing. The guy spun the wheel to the left and then kept on going until the road cleared up enough for the HUMVEE to crawl back onto.
Joel and I rode up top with a guy named Greg Bailey. He sat behind the big .50 caliber machine gun and chewed on a huge hunk of tobacco. Every couple of minutes he’d spit over the side and Joel or I would move so we didn’t get hit. After a half-day of this, I was ready to rip the load of chew out of his mouth and stuff it up his ass.
The main thing that saved him was the fact that he’d pulled our asses out of the shit on the way out of the naval hospital earlier in the day. Plus he was a hell of a friendly guy from Dallas, Texas, and had a good-natured way of looking at the world.
“World’s gone to hell. I get it. Thing is, we’re still alive and know where there’s a big
ol’ base full of big ol’ men and women with big ol’ guns. We make it there and we’re in the green, boys. We call that ‘go time’.”
I tried to grin back but every inch of my body was a mess of bruises and sore muscles. All I wanted to do was find a hole in the ground and sleep for a week. Dodging tobacco-bullets wasn’t helping.
Shitty aiming aside, Bailey was a nice enough guy. Too bad he didn’t make it.
We stopped to stretch our legs and Roz told me she’d sit up top for while so I could get some rest inside. I’d argue but didn’t have the energy.
She wanted to hang with Joel, I got it. We’d had our little bit of touchy feely when we thought we were about to join the dead; she seemed to have forgotten all about that.
I hunched over and
crammed myself into the back, but fought a smile when Sails settled in next to me. Christy wanted to look outside while we picked our way over the terrain.
“You okay, dude?” I asked her.
“I’m fine. I miss Craig, is all. I wish we could go back and look for him. That’s stupid, right?”
“Sorry, dude. I know how you feel. I hate what happened, but we can’t go back.”
“Stop calling me dude,” she said and almost cracked a smile.
“You got it.” I waited two seconds. “Dude.”
The other guys in the transport were Donny and Markus.
Markus had black hair shaved close to his head and wore a bunch of scars on his face. One creased his forehead and then zipped across his nose. He’d been driving when we made our escape and didn’t talk much.
Donny was ill-tempered. Even though he smiled a lot, I didn’t trust him one bit. He was far too content to shoot Z’s. I hated it. I hated popping these things in the head or bashing in brains. He did it with that easy smile.
“You guys Guard?”
“Not really,” Markus said.
Sails was particularly quiet when the subject of enlisted men and women came up. She shifted in her seat and then stared out the window without saying a word.
“Nope. Isn’t it enough that we have a nice thick roof, protection, and food?”
Donny responded, still smiling.
That was all I got out of them.
There wasn’t a lot of talk in the HUMVEE. After a while, you get so damn tired you don’t want to be bothered with shit like chatting about the weather or how you killed the last Z. You want to just sit back and try to think about better times.
I’d been doing that for the last fifteen minutes. Then I realized how quiet it was inside the vehicle. Although I was pressed against the not-unpleasant shape of Anna Sails, doing anything about it was the last thing on my mind. I was fond of my balls and had no doubt she’d shoot them off if I even attempted to drape an arm over her shoulder.
My half-musings didn’t last. All I had to do was glance outside to be reminded that we may have escaped with our lives, but how long could we last? How long until we became permanent fixtures in Undead Central?
Bodies everywhere, some of them moving. Cast out luggage, clothes, shit that used to mean the world to some little kid. Now it was all fodder for the
zombie fucking apocalypse.
We passed a
pile of the dead that smoldered. A few of them were still twitching as the smoke lazed into the morning air. We stopped for a bio break near an overturned school bus. I stretched my legs and then limped off to relieve my aching bladder.
Joel and I stayed together, one keeping watch while the other took care of business. I stared at the front of the shattered bus and nearly pissed all over my hand when the driver sat up and reached for me. Other figures moved around in the murky interior, so I shook it, zipped, and dragged Joel to a nice Volkswagen Bug that had somehow survived the seventies and the apocalypse. The doors were open and nothing moved inside. While Joel took a leak, I went through the glove box and kept an eye on the road.
Nothing approached us and I came up with a couple of packs of Reese’s cups that were a melted mess. Joel and I squeezed out candy that looked like turds and licked the wrappers clean.
Back in the HUMVEE, it was business as usual. We drove off the road, got back on it, cut across creeks, got out and pushed cars out of the way, and generally did whatever we could to get as far from San Diego as possible.
We drove a few miles from the freeway and found a gas station. It had been looted. A small city spread out behind it on the flat landscape; I didn’t see anything moving.
Joel and Donny got out and then got real creative with the hatch over the diesel gas tank. They used a military-issue big ass crowbar to bust it open. Roz returned from the side of the building with a hose.
“I got this.” Bailey hopped down from his station.
“You should stay on the gun,” Joel said.
“We ran out of rounds back at the hospital. Blew through the last fifty when you boys got on board.”
“You’ve been manning an empty gun?”
“Habit,” Bailey said and turned his head to spit.
He dug around in the back of the transport and came up with a hand pump.
“That thing gonna work?” I asked.
“Damn straight. I used to work at a Chevron back in the halcyon days of my youth. I’ve done worse to get gas out of a hole in the ground.”
I didn’t ask what “worse” meant.
We set up a perimeter,
then watched the road and each other’s backs. Bailey and Roz managed to monkey a couple of hoses together and pump diesel into the HUMVEE. It was slow going; as the minutes ticked by I got more and more nervous. I felt like we had a giant fucking bull’s-eye painted on our location.
“We got this,” Bailey said after I came over to check on him for the third time.
I nodded and walked toward the perimeter.
That’s when they came out of the woodwork.
I don’t know if it was us; we were speaking in low voices. The sound of the pump or the clang when we popped the cover and dragged it off? Hell, it might have just been bad luck.
“Zulu’s at three o’clock!” Donny yelled and went down to one knee.
The first shot was shocking in the quiet morning. I drew but didn’t have a clean look until I moved around the backside of the HUMVEE.
“Everyone back in, now!”
“Almost got her; buy me a minute,” Bailey said and pumped like a madman.
Joel fell back shooting as Markus closed in on their position to set up a screen. A hail of bullets met the Z’s but there were many hands and hungry mouths.
The snarling mass didn’t have a shuffler behind them, but what was back there was almost as bad. Fresh dead. They poured in on our position. I tried to get a count but gave up at eighteen or nineteen.
If we had a wall or roof or a fucking piece of artillery, we might have been able to drop most of them but there were just too many and more were coming.
I fired three rounds at a staggering guy dressed in a pretty nice set of PJ’s. Not your dollar-store variety – these looked fresh and pressed. Too bad the asshole wearing them was missing most of his throat and shoulder. One round went and one caught him in the chest. He was blown back but that made my third shot miss. I don’t know how action heroes make killing shots in movies. When you got a bunch of fuckers bearing down on your position, you might as well be trying to shoot a bulls-eye off a jumper at a goat rodeo.
“Up, Bailey! Let’s get motivated!” I yelled as I ran back and grabbed him by the shoulder.
He looked up, pumped a few more times, and then yanked the hose, still drooling diesel, out of the HUMVEE.
up on the side of the transport. She had one hand on the door and her gun in the other. The .357 banged slowly; she was careful to clear her field of fire, aim, and then blow a Z into the mass.
The trickle had expanded and now thirty or forty swarmed. They were on us before we were loaded. Joel scrambled up the side of the vehicle. I joined him, shimmying up the back until I found my grip on the edge of the gun turret. The HUMVEE roared to life as doors slammed shut. Sails kept her cool and kept blasting.
Joel sat up and covered Bailey while the man tossed the pump aside and jumped to his feet. The Texan rocked forward and grabbed onto the back of the HUMVEE. He almost got his foot onto the metal bumper but slipped and slammed his knee into the hard exterior.
“Son of a mother fucker!” he screamed.
“Wait! Bailey’s out there!” I yelled, but the vehicle had already lurched into motion.
“Not good!” Joel shouted.
I rolled to the side and prepared to jump off the truck, even though I knew it would probably be a death warrant. Joel Kelly grabbed my shoulder and yanked hard to get my attention.
Lemme go, Joel!” I tried to bat his hand aside.
“Look, it’s too late, man. I know, it’s Bailey – but it’s too late. You go down there and you aren’t coming back.”
Sails shot a female crawler in the shoulder, adjusted, then blew her rotting head back. A pair of festering males were right behind the woman. Sails shot one; the other fell onto Bailey.
Bailey got his forearm up to stop the zombie’s descending mouth and managed to hold it back, but another of the crawlers attacked.
Bailey screamed as the Z sank its teeth into his arm and ripped.
gun rang out again.
Bailey slumped forward a moment after a hole appeared just above his nose.
I pounded the top of the HUMVEE in frustration.